When to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer

Everything you do in life comes with a level of risk. Some actions carry exceptionally minimal risks, like sitting on the couch and watching television. Getting in your car and driving carries higher risks. We take the dangers of driving a car for granted because it’s something we do every day, and until there’s an accident, we tend to ignore the risks.

Every year in the United States, an average of 6 million car accidents occur, leaving as many as 3 million people facing some kind of injury. Approximately 2 million drivers experience permanent injuries every year. There aren’t any specific guidelines about when someone needs to hire a personal injury attorney. So, when should you hire a personal injury lawyer, and how soon should you contact one?

Time Is of the Essence

Many don’t realize this, but insurance companies stack the deck against you in their favor. They have a lot of money and many legal resources the average person doesn’t have access to on their own. There’s only one way to level the playing field when dealing with insurance companies: Have a legal expert in your corner.

Other than reporting an accident, you don’t want to do anything by yourself. Insurance companies will always protect their own interests first. They may try to save money to your detriment. So, how soon after an accident do you need a personal injury lawyer?

In short, contact an attorney after the accident as soon as you can. Going without a personal injury attorney to guide you step-by-step on what to do or say could lead to crucial mistakes. You don’t want to go without counsel. You will need to talk with them about your medical bills, property damages, and any other issues that arise throughout the process. Your attorney ensures responsible parties pay your medical bills and property damages to your vehicle and helps you get back on the road as fast as possible, among other duties.

What Questions Should You Ask Before Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer?

When you begin talking to a personal injury attorney, ask questions. First and foremost, ask about their level of experience with cases similar to your own. Personal injury is a big umbrella. Some attorneys specialize in medical malpractice, car accidents, slip and fall, defamation, etc. Subcategories even exist within each type of injury law. While many attorneys’ experiences cross over, virtually none handle every kind of case. You need an attorney experienced in your situation.

Another question to ask is, will you win? This is where things get tricky. For ethical reasons, attorneys can’t get your hopes up. Still, they should be able to determine if you have a reasonable or strong chance of success. Another question is, how much could you get? Again, don’t expect an exact answer. Trials are unpredictable, but a good attorney should know an estimated baseline. Keep this in mind as well – a good attorney won’t take your case if they don’t believe they can get you money.

How much an attorney charges is also an important question. Most personal injury attorneys charge approximately 33% of damages recovered. You’ll also want to ask when or if you’ll owe court filing fees, expert witness fees, administrative fees, or information-gathering expenses.

Hiring a personal injury lawyer may feel like a daunting task. Compared to handling your case alone after an accident, it’s well worth the effort.